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Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 27, 2003

Cyclocross season opens with a bang on Boom Island

By Bicisport Media USA

Fast and furious fast
Photo: © Bicisport Media USA
Click for larger image

Boom Island was once used as a log sorting station for the logging industry. No longer an island due to mans need to control the river, the area is now use for recreation opportunities and a new residential community built along the Mississippi River.

Situated above historic Main Street, Nicollet Island, and the St. Anthony Lock and Dam in Minneapolis, Boom Island connects residents and visitors to the majestic beauty of the Mississippi River.

The historical main channel of the Mississippi River flowed to the west of Boom Island. The east channel was gradually filled in during the lumber mill days. Booms are chains of logs use to float other logs down the river. Boom companies would pluck the logs from the booms and sort them for their respective lumber company. In 1857, the boom companies merged and Boom Island became a sorting station before the logs go to St. Anthony Falls.

Boom Island remained undeveloped through the remaining years of the 19th century. As steam powered saw-mills were built in the 1880, enormous stacks of lumber began to cover the island. On August 13, 1893, a fire broke out from southern Nicollet Island and spread quickly through the pile of lumber, engulfing the sawmills, businesses and houses for miles around.

On September 27, Boom Island, now a city park, greeted hundreds of racers to a perfect season opening for crossers in the northland. Temperatures in the mid 40's and NW winds of up to 25 MPH are a made to order Cyclocross feast. Add a sprinkle of cold rain, and you have Minnesota cross the way it was meant to be. HARD CORE!

The course was laid out along the Mississippi river meandering about the parking lot and an old landfill. It was a spectator friendly course as it was quite short and narrow. The tall well-built barriers kept the bunny hoppers at bay, however the course itself was boring and lacked creativity. There was no notable hill or technical section to cause difficulty along the way. Boom Island has been used several times for cyclocross and bike messenger races in the past and does not lend well to good course design. Be that as it may, the easy course in no way tempered the competition.

The Men's A Race was a quick affair as the top two riders took their spots at the front of the race in the first five minutes. Southern California's Brent Prenzlow (Velo Pacific) attacked straight away and was joined on the second lap by strong local rider Jake Stechman (Alan Factory Team). The duo gained time on each lap taking turns at the front and setting a blistering pace. A strong and organized chase group of up to nine riders formed. Lead by Team Salsa's Tim Norrie and Fast Freddy Feirn with Nature Valley's Dan Swanson and Scott Ralston, Harry Anderson (Ski hut) and Jay Henderson (Gravity Labs) taking turns pace setting. This was a dangerous group loaded with strong capable riders yet they were unable to gain even the slightest time back. Such was the strength of Stechman and Prenzlow. The two leaders were walking away with little regard to the battle behind.

Up in front Stechman kept the pressure on riding all out lap after lap. Prenzlow worked a bluff long enough to take advantage of a lapse in Stechman's concentration late in the race. Attacking after a hard pull by Stechman, Prenzlow put paid to his experience with five laps to go and Stechman could not respond. Prenzlow pulled away and never looked back throwing his victory salute still 100 meters from the line and waving to the enthusiastic crown

The battle behind was brutal and ultimately the chase group ate itself alive. Dan Swanson dashed the hopes of podium pretenders with a true show of force taking third spot while Fred Feirn took fourth in front of teammate Tim Norrie. Scott Ralston settled for a well deserved 6th spot. Gravity Labs legend in waiting Jay "Hollywood" Henderson battled mechanical trouble all afternoon but managed to work his way back through the splintered chase group to finish seventh on what seemed to be a doomed ride. Derek Laan (Alan Factory Team) Harry Anderson (Ski Hut) and Kevin Kralston (Kenwood) rounded out the top ten finishers

Though many of the elite local cross racers are still racing on the road, the Boom Island turnout was possibly the largest season opener recorded and leads one to believe that the 2003 Cyclocross season will be ranked as one of the best in Minnesota History.


Images by Robert Lindstrom


Expert / Cat 1/2
1 Brent Prenzlow (Velo Pacific)        20 pts
2 Jacob Steckman (Flanders/MBRC)       17
3 Dan Swanson (Nature Valley/Penn)     15
4 Fred Feirn (Salsa)                   13
5 Scott Ralston (Nature Valley/Penn)   11
6 Jay Henderson (Flanders/MBRC)        10
7 Harry Anderson (Ski Hut)              
8 Paul Thorsen (Alan)                   0
9 Chris Edin (Bicycle Sports)           0
10 Pat Dowling (Flat City)              0
11 David Simpson (u/a)                  0
DNF Kevin Honkens (Orbea/MoEx)          0
DNF Andy Kruse (Tonka/MCT)              0
Comp / Cat 3
1 Tim Norrie (Salsa)                   20
2 Derek Laan (Alan)                    17
3 Kevin Kralston (Kenwood)             15
4 Tom Coy (Salsa)                      13
5 Mike Weisptenning (AUC)              11
6 Brandon Gavic (Salsa)                10
7 Todd Heiser (Squadra)                 0
8 Steve Rowentree (Kenwood)             0
9 Tom Lapinski (Freewheel)              0
10 Ross Fraboni (u/a)                   0
11 Dave Dingman (Bianchi/GP)            0
12 Timothy Case (Squadra)               0
13 Todd Wilson (Bianchi/GP)             0
DNF Chuck Hood (Salsa)                  0
DNF Patrick Humemmy (VW)                0
Men 35+
1 Brent Prenzlou (Velo Pacific)        20
2 Scott Robertson (Birchwood)          17
3 Brian Mohrlant (Metrix)              15
4 Charlie Townsend (Bianchi/GP)        13
5 Wallace Alexander (Kenwood)          11
6 Tom McDonald (kenwwod)               10
7 Tim Boyle (Make Shift)                0
8 Paul Schoening (Alan)                 0
9 Mark Milnar (Bianchi/GP)              0
10 Raleigh Loresh (u/a)                 0
11 Gary Friedell (Kenwwod)              0
DNF Mike Pederson (BT)                  0
DNF Steve Sonnesyn (Alan)               0
1 Cory Gross (Flat City)               20
2 Wynn Roberts (u/a)                   17
3 Matt Meuyres (Flat City)             15
4 Kent Thorson (u/a)                   13
5 Matt Huron (Kenwood)                 11
6 Jon Friedell (Kenwood)               10
7 Ben Popp (Bicycle Sports)             0
8 Tim Ramos (Flat City)                 0
9 Sean Poetter (Flat City)              0
10 Allen Robertson (VW)                 0
11 Keith Bianchi (Bianchi/GP)           0
12 Ian Hall (VW)                        0
13 Eric Zimmerman (Sports Hut)          0
14 Iamon Mee (u/a)                      0
15 Patrick Lemieux (MNJR)               0
16 Brian Szlalorkuk (VW)                0
17 Joshua Peterson (Flat City)          0
18 Jeff Lewis (u/a)                     0
19 Brian Costello (u/a)                 0
20 Tom Scherber (Salsa)                 0
21 Lee Bengel (MNJR)                    0
22 John Coleman (u/a)                   0
23 Robert Tomb (AUC)                    0
24 Peter Schweich (u/a)                 0
25 Adam Stauferberg (u/a)               0
26 Thomas Thornquest (Eriks)            0
27 Chris Orr (u/a)                      0
28 Garratt Nolan (Eriks)                0
29 David Weiser (u/a)                   0
DNF Mark Kotz (Gopher)                  0
DNF Andy Kruse (Tonka/MCT)              0
Men 45+
1 Zackery Handler (u/a)                20
2 George Szymansky (Bicycle Chain/LSC) 17
3 Mike Lyner (Bicycle Chain/LSC)       15
4 John O'Brian (u/a)                   13
5 Richard Spielberg (Tonka/MCT)        11
6 Tom Bengel (u/a)                     10
7 David Hastert (Flanders/MBRC)         0
8 John Waldron (u/a)                    0
9 John Krawczak (Nature Valley/Penn)    0
Women 1/2/3
1 Benita Warns (Bianchi/GP)            20
Cat 5
1 Joe Fritsch (Gopher)                 20
2 Adam Birr (u/a)                      17
3 Adam Piddle (u/a)                    15
4 Sean Burns (u/a)                     13
5 Steve Cragel (LSC)                   11
6 Jason Halt (Birchwood)               10
7 Jeffrey Krutson (UoM)                 0
8 David Bucholz (Bianchi/GP)            0
9 Matt McDonough (u/a)                  0
10 Jack Stock (Flanders/MBRC)           0
11 Ed Szklarczuk (VW)                   0
12 Brandon O'Brien (LCR)                0
13 Chris Rogers (Eriks)                 0
14 John Stamm (LSC)                     0
15 Drew Boeke (u/a)                     0
16 Bruce Cochran (u/a)                  0
17 Will Hoeg (Eagle Ridge)              0
18 Barry Schmitt (u/a)                  0
19 Lonnie Sauber (LCR)                  0
20 John Shepard (u/a)                   0
21 Tim Power (LSC)                      0
22 Mike Miziorko (u/a)                  0
23 Dave Throne                          0
24 Brad Beisel (u/a)                    0
25 Terry Clap                           0
26 Bill Hall                            0
1 Krystynn Kras (Cargill)              20
2 Becky Alexander                      17
3 Benita Warns (Bianchi/GP)            15
DNF Anne Steuer (Gopher)                0
Juniors 15-18
1 Alex Lacey (u/a)                     20
2 Chase Own (u/a)                      17
3 Neal Peterson                        15
Juniors 10-14
1 Andrew Kotz (Gopher)                 20
2 Conrad Roberts (Baraboo Sharks)      17
3 Booth Bartness (u/a)                 15
4 Jackson Bartness (u/a)               13
5 Greg Bartness (u/a)                  11
Alan Team Challenge Cup
1 Salsa                               174 pts
2 Kenwood                             167
3 Bianchi/GP                           94
4 Flanders/MBRC                        93
5 Nature Valley/Penn                   90
6 Bicycle Chain/LSC                    75
7 Flat City                            70
8 Birchwood                            61
9 Velo Pacific                         60
10 Alan                                51
11 Metrix                              45
12 Gopher                              40
13 AUC                                 33
14 Ski Hut                             30
15 Tonka/MCT                           22
16 Cargill                             20
17 Baribou Sharks                      17 

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